HomeowningRenting can be a drag. Always having to listen to the upstairs neighbors race with their pet elephants, trying not to make noise that will bother the downstairs neighbors and still hearing them bang on the ceiling signifying your slippered shuffles are too loud, and many other grievances tend to come with renting from an apartment complex. Living in a separate rental home isn’t always the greatest option either. Often, landlords take a bit of time to get things fixed and you can’t shower since you must wait for a plumber to come clear out the drains. Sometimes, renting can be a great situation with a landlord who gets your jokes and lives to care for their properties. Though, a new chapter in your life may just around the corner.

Buying a home can be a great investment, a positive choice to help further goals, or a good step toward feeling stability. Whatever the reason may be, there will always be things that moving will make enormously better and there will be things that renting may do more efficiently. But, when the time comes to pack up and pick up a mortgage, rest assured that there can be so many awesome reasons to settle into a space that is all your own.

First, one of the greatest arguments for moving and leaving the rental contracts behind is that renting is giving someone money to help further their own finances and therefore, is not money that’s working for the renter. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs puts physiological needs at the base of human happiness. This means that having a shelter from the elements is one of the most important needs a human can have. Renting and owning a home can both help to fill this need, though renting can be a bit rockier as far as permanence. Many renters feel that they are free to move and change jobs on a whim while some landlords will request that tenants move for various reasons.This fluidity can be helpful for those going through transitional periods, but for those looking to settle down and feel more stable for a while may definitely enjoy the security of homeownership.

In addition, it’s much easier to feel at home in a place that allows you to modify and decorate in a way that pleases you. A homeowner can hang pictures with nails, own a pet, or change the carpet to hardwood flooring without fear of losing a deposit that costs the same amount as one or two months rent costs. Additionally, the frequency of moving after buying a home significantly decreases because there is a lot more that goes into owning a home than renting. This means that the decorations can stay in their spots and the homeowner can design around their space instead of running to the store to pick up new organizational items for another new space after moving into a new rental for the third year in a row.

There’s a general sense of pride that comes with ownership. Any renovations and upgrades are personalizations that reflect on the homeowner and allow for an ease of living that can be very relaxing. Even having plans to tweak small things or work on the home can provide a sense of purpose. Homeowners who have purchased a home that they love can often feel a sense of security that comes with putting down roots by purchasing a home. Suddenly, community events and fundraisers become more important as they actually apply to the life of the owner. Renting doesn’t always instill that sense of caring for the community, though it can.

In owning a home, many areas have places for purchase that have an equal or lower monthly mortgage payment than it would cost to rent the same place. Likewise, rental properties tend to be on the smaller size when it comes to space per dollar. Because of this, many homeowners find that they have extra space, so if a guest swings by for a visit, there is often a larger living space to greet them in, as well as less concern about taking someone’s paid for parking space as can happen in a rental apartment or shared rental home.

It’s important to keep in mind when making the decision to buy a home, that money must be set aside for a down payment. This is frequently 20% of the amount that the home is being purchased for, though, can be more or less. If this is a first home purchase, some states have incentive programs for new buyers that may affect the amount required for a down payment. Also, it’s a good idea to have extra set aside in addition to the money for a down payment. This can go toward fixing small things that may need fixing, or it can go toward buying the things that are specific to the space that the buyer may need to have a functioning household.

Buying a home can be a great idea, but only if you are planning on staying put for a while. There are online calculators that can help figure out how long it will take to a homeowner to break even on their house. It’s most cost effective to stay until that point, plus, staying in your home until it is paid off can offer the benefit of not having a monthly house payment- thus allowing more of your paycheck to go toward things you like and goals you have.

Homeownership is not always rosy. It means caring for a place that may have accidental floods, caring for heating and cooling, and making sure the yard is cared for up to neighborhood standards, but with these responsibilities come the ultimate freedom of living in a place that is all your own, and that is the greatest feeling of all.

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